What started in a roller rink and then a barn 50 years ago will be celebrated by the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence this Saturday in Portsmouth.
The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, will visit St. Barnabas Church this Saturday as part of the church's 50th anniversary celebration.
St. Barnabas Church, located 1697 East Main Road, was founded in 1963 by Bishop Russell J. McVinney with the first Mass celebrated in the Portsmouth Roller Ring.
A barn was later transformed into a chapel until a church was built in 1965. The new church was blessed and dedicated by Bishop McVinney on Dec. 18, 1965.
Today, more than 5,000 parishioners are part of this church community.
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As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, Bishop Tobin will also preside at the Pastor Installation Mass of Rev. Peter Andrews, a Cranston native.
The Rev. Andrews attended Cranston West High School, and later graduated from Providence College and Our Lady of Providence Seminary College before completing his seminary studies at St. John Seminary in Brighton, MA.
Ordained in 1988 by Bishop Louis E. Gelineau, he was assigned as assistant pastor of St. Francis de Sales, North Kingstown and then, three years later, he served at Immaculate Conception in Westerly as assistant pastor.
In 1997, the Rev. Andrews was appointed director of the Office for Worship and administrative secretary to Bishops Louis E. Gelineau and then Robert E. Mulvee. The Rev. Andrews recently served as pastor of St. Christopher and St. Theresa parishes in Tiverton for 13 years.